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City Trying to Find Way to Fire Kessler

The Gilberton, Pennsylvania city council met on Friday night, the last night of the 30-day suspension of Police Chief Mark Kessler. Kessler was supposed to show up and didn’t, but there are apparently negotiations going on with his attorney. The city is apparently trying to find a way to get out of his contract.

The small town’s potty-mouthed police chief, Mark Kessler, was a no-show with his 30-day suspension set to expire at midnight. And so were his small army of gun-toting supporters, who turned out in force a month ago when council first suspended Kessler for his swearing, shoot ‘em up, politically caustic Internet videos.

Mayor Mary Lou Hannon blamed the holdup on a final decision on the police chief’s employment status on Kessler and his attorney, Joseph Nahas. Borough officials and the chief were set to meet in private Friday morning for a hearing on Kessler’s employment contract. But Nahas said he had a conflict. Instead, Nahas and Kessler offered to extend the chief’s unpaid suspension indefinitely until they can hash out a date to meet…

At issue is Kessler’s employment contract with the borough. It runs through December 2015, paying Kessler about $31,000 annually, said Hannon. Clearly, the cash-strapped coal town doesn’t want to be on the hook to pay a police chief who is no longer on the beat, so they are going by the book legally, Hannon indicated.

“We have to follow the law,” Hannon said, following the brief special meeting to extend Kessler’s suspension. “Contract law and things like that,” she added.

They extended his suspension and would like to make a decision next week. I can’t imagine there isn’t a clause in his contract that would allow them to fire him for his behavior over the last few months.

Comments

  1. says

    I suspect Modusoperandi has utterly killed the comment thread before it even began. Who among us will dare to even try to follow that? Not I!

    I.e.: this comment didn’t happen.

  2. Kaintukee Bob says

    Modusoperandi, you made me forcibly expel air through my nostrils.

    I like you.

    In other news, you know it’s going to be hard to fire this bigot. Even though it’s blatantly wrong, he’ll likely try to claim he’s being fired for his religious beliefs, not for the asshattery he’s been pulling. And the city will have to pay to defend it in court.

  3. says

    The small town’s potty-mouthed police chief, Mark Kessler, was a no-show with his 30-day suspension set to expire at midnight. And so were his small army of gun-toting supporters, who turned out in force a month ago when council first suspended Kessler for his swearing, shoot ‘em up, politically caustic Internet videos.

    That’s funny, I was under the impression they suspended him because he was shooting an effigy of a person he didn’t like, spouting dehumanizing demagoguery about liberals, contrary to his duty to protect all citizens regardless of political affiliation, and generally trying to make himself look like a violent criminal ready to gun down unsuspecting innocents when he gets into a sufficiently bad mood and/or a bad cop who is eager to abuse his authority to punish the targets of his bigotry.

    The unnecessary “potty-mouthed” bit sounds like “Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking.”

  4. says

    Bronze Dog:

    I had an NCOIC in my unit back in the early 70’s (1970’s, not 1870’s) who said he was gonna have me courts-martialed for murder and rape. I was a bit surprised and asked why. He said, “Cuz’ you ain’t been doin’ nothin’ lately, except killing time and fucking off. Then he sent me to the NCO club to do an in-depth study on recreational drinking.

  5. says

    What, there’s no clause in the contract that says “we can fire you and stop paying you if you say stupid threatening shit that embarrasses your city and/or raises serious doubts about your willingness to do your job consistently or well”? Obama fired Gen. McCrystal more easily, over far less offensive public utterances.

    If the ELECTED OFFICIALS of a city have to have a last-minute meeting just to figure out how to fire a subordinate as stupid and deranged as Kessler, then whoever wrote that contract needs to be fired as well.

  6. bbgunn says

    Wonder if the city council can come up with a ‘Barney Fife’ ordinance on ordnance that allows the Police Chief to carry only one round when toting city-owned firearms? Maybe he’d quit out of disgust for not being able to entertain his ‘Tuber’ buds with anything but his rapid fire verbal venom.

  7. Artor says

    Surely, Kessler can be brought to trial for making his murder threats, and I assume that a felon can’t be Chief of Police, contract or no. But that might take a while to get a felony conviction. I hope they can throw this asshat out on his ear soon.

  8. left0ver1under says

    I wonder if there is (or why there isn’t) an ethics clause in the contract. If there is, is the city using it to fire him? If not, I bet they wish they had included one.

    In some places where I’ve worked under contract there were clauses that gave cause for termination (e.g. being intoxicated on the job, acts detrimental to the employer, criminal acts, et al.). With or without such clauses the law should apply to such behaviour, although cops often seem to think they are above the law….

  9. eric says

    Why is the delay even a major issue? Its unpaid. Tell his attorney sure, we’ll delay as long as you want. In the meantime, we’ll appoint someone acting sherrif.

    Heck, if I were the county I’d think of telling his lawyer that we (the county) are unfortunately unable to work out a good court date until January 1, 2016. I.e., until after his contract period ends. Sorry Mr. Lawyer, our legal staff is very short because we have this extra nonproductive mouthbreather on the county’s benefits program, sucking down medical and retirement funds that we could use to hire more legal staff and free up some meeting time.

    Considering the potential cost of a wrongful termination suit, let him languish in unpaid leave as long as he wants instead.

  10. says

    @12:

    He’s a village employee. It’s probably not civil service and he is probably not eligible for a pension with 14 years of service (although his attorney will prolly find some incident that caused him to suffer an injury with undiagnosable recurring, debilitating pain–entitling him to 100% of his pay FOREVER.

    “then whoever wrote that contract needs to be fired as well.”

    He probably wrote it himself–there’s something more to all of this than we know about.

  11. phantomreader42 says

    May I suggest “from a cannon, with sufficient force to clear the city limits”?

    Seriously, the man threatened to murder people and publicly admitted that he has no intention of even pretending to enforce the law fairly. If that’s not a firing offense for a police officer, what is?

  12. says

    Given they hired this idiot in the first place, and approved his purchase of 3 unneeded automatic weapons, I doubt they have any sort of well written contract with him.

  13. sezme says

    Seems to me that everyone is making an unjustified assumption. Maybe the city wants to find a way to KEEP this goober. After all, they hired him. They might argue his threats were just a fun way for the city to tell libtards to stay out of town. After all, my understanding is that rural Pennsylvania is just Northern Mississippi.

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